Georgia Tech has received a $900,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to develop a robot that can complete missions in dangerous situations by utilizing what’s found around the area. Professor Mike Stilman, team leader of the project, refers the robot as “MacGyver bot” and explains that:
Our goal is to develop a robot that behaves like MacGyver, the television character from the 1980s who solved complex problems and escaped dangerous situations by using everyday objects and materials he found at hand.
The MacGyver bot can be placed in disaster and war zones to help find people and rebuild the areas. The robot will have the basic cognitive processes to take advantage of arbitrary objects around the environment and use them as tools. There’s still a long way to go before we will see a prototype MacGyver bot being implemented in the military service. The next step for the Georgia Tech team is to develop a software to run simulations on a computer, before installing and testing the software further in a Stilman’s Golem Krang humanoid robot.